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Apply for an energy plan from Australia's most popular brands
🧪How we determined popular brands
The most popular brands were based on market share using figures from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER's) Annual retail markets report 2018-19 (Table 1.1.). Keep in mind that the most popular brand may not always be the best for you, and you're encouraged to compare for yourself to find one that works for you.
Compare electricity retailers and prices in South Australia October 2020
Disclaimer: Here are some of the best deals from retailers on our database that include either a link to the retailers website for more information or to a form from an energy broker to enquire for more information. We compared prices for based on a residential customer in Adelaide, South Australia (Postcode: 5000) who consumes 4,000 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the SA Power Networks. We show one plan per provider and the estimated price includes conditional discounts (if any). Any plans with special eligibility requirements are excluded from this list. Your actual bill may vary, depending on your usage. Always check the provider's site before applying. Please use our engine for a specific comparison in your postcode.
Prices last checked on October 2020 and are subject to change. You can compare plans by price using our engine below. Please use our engine for a specific comparison in your postcode.
Best electricity and gas providers in South Australia
Although there is no 'best' retailer, to give you a general guide, here are 5 top electricity and gas retailers by complaints percentage.
|Retailer||Number of customers in South Australia||Total complaints||as a proportion of customers|
Source: AER, Annual retail markets report 2018-19. We looked at complaints to the 10 largest retailers in South Australia (by customers) and ranked them by the smallest proportion of complaints to a retailers total customers. If you want a better idea of who the best energy provider is in Australia overall, check out our picks.
Is electricity expensive in SA?
1Our research found that the average quarterly electricity bill in Australia is around $363. Among the four states, SA has the most expensive rate at $405 per quarter.
|State||Average quarterly bill||Annual bill|
|New South Wales||$386||$1,544|
1.Average bills per state are based on Finder's Customer Sentiment Tracker. Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker takes responses from 16,000 Australians to get an average figure. The last number was last checked in August 2020. We will continue to update this data.
You can save by switching
As of 1 September 2020, the cheapest estimated price that we found for a plan in SA (Postcode: 5000) is $1,244 per year ($311 per quarter). If the average bill holder was to switch to the cheapest plan, they would be able to save $376 in the year.
|Cheapest plan available (estimated price)2||$311||$1,244|
2.The cheapest price available on Finder was found by searching our engine for results using the following postcodes: (5000 - Adelaide). Prices are based on a residential customer who consumes the following amount of energy per year on a single rate tariff: (4,000 kWh for SA). Prices are subject to change.
Electricity and gas providers in SA
South Australia residents can choose from the following energy retailers:
|Link to provider review||⚡ Electricity||♨️ Gas||☀️ Solar|
Main energy plans in SA
If you've already looked at our picks for the best energy in Australia, and you're after more information around the actual plans available in South Australia, you've come to the right place. Here are some of the main electricity plans in South Australia:
AGL - Residential Essentials Saver
Variable rate electricity with flexible payment options and choice of monthly billing. You don't have to pay any exit fees, and you get a benefit period of 12 months. Customers have a choice of between 10 and 100% GreenPower.
EnergyAustralia - Total Plan Home
With the Total Plan, you receive fixed energy rates and a guaranteed discount off your entire electricity bill for the benefit period of 12 months. Customers who opt in receive complete carbon offsets on their power after 6 months, plus the option of 10 to 100% GreenPower. Can be billed monthly.
Origin - Max Saver
Get variable rate electricity with a benefit period of 12 months. To join this plan, you have to accept online communications and billing, pay by direct debit, and install the Origin app. You won't have to pay exit fees, and there are options of 25 to 100% GreenPower.
Powershop - Shopper Market Offer
A variable rate electricity plan with no connection fee when you change to a new property, with flexible payments and monthly billing. Pre-purchasing your energy in the Powershop will let you receive significant extra savings on your power bill. You may also choose to add 100% GreenPower.
Lumo Energy - Lumo Basic
Simple variable rate electricity with flexible payment options and the choice of monthly billing. No lock-in contract or benefit period, and the option of 10% GreenPower.
Note: Plan information last checked on July 2020.
What type of energy discounts do providers in SA offer?
To help you find out what energy discounts are available to you, we searched through all the energy plans available to South Australians. These are the major discount types on offer:
- Bill credits. Get a certain amount of money deducted from your energy bills. Usually a sign up offer.
- Guaranteed discount. A very reliable type of discount which doesn't require any special conditions and always applies.
- Direct debit discount. Paying automatically by direct debit will save you a certain percentage off your energy bill.
- Pay on time discount. If you pay every bill on time, you'll get an ongoing discount. Missing a bill or paying late removes this.
The most common type of discount in South Australia is a guaranteed discount. Discounts usually only apply for a set period of time and then expire, something known as the benefit period.
|Discount type||Example||Providers that offer the discount|
|Bill credits||$75 credit for online sign up|
Up to $40/$240 bonus credit p.a.
|Pay on time discounts||Discount on total bill|
Discount on total usage
|Direct debit discounts||Diamond Energy|
|Guaranteed discounts||Discount on total bill|
Discount on total usage
|Energy Australia, Origin Energy, Powerdirect|
|Other special discounts||Mega Pack|
Free Power Bonus
Last checked December 2019
How much is the energy rebate in SA?
A rebate or concession is an amount of money refunded on your energy bill. To get a rebate, you'll usually need to meet a certain condition, such as being a concession card holder.
Your rebate will either be a flat dollar amount or a percentage of your bill. To see what South Australia has available, check out our guide to energy rebates and concessions under the South Australian section.
When are off-peak and on-peak periods in SA?
Like many states, South Australia splits power use into two periods: peak and off-peak. Unlike other states, though, very few retailers offer time-of-use tariffs that actually differentiate pricing between these periods, and will usually only sell them to businesses. Here's how they're defined for the plans that do:
- Peak. 7am - 9pm on weekdays. Period of highest demand and therefore highest prices.
- Off-peak. All other times (9pm - 7am weekdays, all weekend). Lower power demand across the state, meaning lower power prices.
How to read a meter in SA
A meter reading can be carried out either by you or a qualified technician. The technician route is simple, only requiring you to make sure the technician can access your meter easily alone. A smart meter cannot be manually read.
Before reading your own meter, do a quick safety check. Inspect the meter and its housing for any signs of damage from water, animals, or melted and burned pieces. How you read your meter will depend on what kind you have, explained in our meter reading guide in more detail.
- Smart meter. These take usage readings about every 30 minutes. You can't read them manually, and must log into your retailer's page and request a usage chart.
- Clock face meter. Write down the number on each clock face from left to right. When dials are between two numbers, take the lower. Don't read the dial labelled 1/10. Your usage will be your meter reading minus the reading from your previous bill.
- Electronic meter. Pressing the "display" button should show your usage, potentially cycling through several different readings. Note them all down.
How often will you get your bill?
Electricity bills in South Australia are required to be delivered every 3 months at least, but retailers may decide to deliver them monthly instead. Here's how three big energy providers handle billing in the state:
- Origin. Bills come monthly on the Origin Max Saver plan. Bills will not be mailed in paper form as part of this plan, only sent via email.
- Energy Australia. The No Frills plan only offers quarterly billing, not monthly. Getting a paper bill delivered will attract an extra cost over having it emailed.
- AGL. With AGL's Residential Essential Savers Plan, you'll get a bill quarterly by default but can choose to go monthly instead. Bills are sent regularly by email or mailed out for an additional charge.
How do you connect electricity in SA?
Moving house requires you to cut off power at the old address and switch on the lights at the new one. Failing to update your energy accounts may result in you paying for other people's usage. Here's how you can handle it:
- Use the previous provider. If you're a fan of your current energy plan, just contact your retailer and let them figure out the move for you. Just remember that you might not be able to access your old plan at a different property.
- Get your agent or landlord to do it. Renters will sometimes have their energy account be the responsibility of their landlord. That means you can talk the details through with them and let them handle the business of switching, including any applicable fees.
- Compare online. Moving house is an excellent time to review your power plan and maybe switch to something better. You may be able to get a better deal than what you have now by comparing online, allowing you to save money on future bills.
South Australians who don't sort out their energy account when moving in may receive "dear customer/occupier" letters from the current supplier of power to the property. Ignoring these letters can result in your utilities being cut off, so make sure you sort your energy arrangements as soon as possible.
In South Australia, there is only a single electricity distributor, SA Power Networks. They will charge you a fee for connecting and disconnecting your properties as shown in this table.
|SA Power Networks||$50.25|
How to get cheaper energy
- Compare base rates. The actual amount you pay per unit of energy is the most important part of an energy plan. After all other discounts and features have been accounted for, lower base usage rates generally mean cheaper electricity.
- Examine discounts. Discounts are offered as conditional, where you have to meet certain conditions for them to apply, and guaranteed, which apply no matter what. Both only apply for the benefit period listed on your contract, though guaranteed discounts are usually better.
- Tariff alternatives. Rather than sticking to a default single rate, you might consider a time of use tariff depending on when you use your energy. If most of your energy use is in the morning and early afternoon, a time of use tariff can help you save by splitting the day into more expensive peak times and cheaper off-peak periods. Primarily off-peak power usage may translate to a smaller bill.
- Review plans regularly. Staying on a plan for a long time doesn't usually bring any advantages, since variable rates can change and benefit periods expire after a year or two. Shopping around for a new energy plan every year or so can help you secure a better deal on your energy.
Key terms in SA
1. Understand these terms before you compare
To ensure you have access to the best electricity deals, here are the key terms you should understand and look out for:
2. Review your personal needs
The more competitive the energy market in South Australia, the more choices you have as a consumer. Lots of providers offer discounts, tailored plans and special offers depending on when and how you use your electricity and gas, so taking your personal needs into account is essential to getting the best deal. Before buying, ask yourself:
- What time of the day do you use the most electricity and gas?
- Are you happy to pay by credit card if it means you can receive a discount? Or do you want to pay through direct debit?
- Do you prefer a single rate tariff? If you are generally always home, this might be the way to go.
- Would you rather a tariff that changes based on the time of day? If you're only home at later times, it might be worth considering a 'time of day' tariff.
Knowing the answer to these questions should make it much easier to find the cheapest electricity plans in SA.
3. Compare plan features
If you're ready to compare plan features, here's what to look for:
|Tariff options||You can usually choose between a single rate tariff or one that charges you a time of use tariff.|
|Discounts||You can get discounts for paying on time, for signing long-term contracts and for bundling gas and electricity plans together. Many energy plans offer discounts — the key is to find one that extends its discounts to customers beyond the first stages of your contract.|
|Cancellation fees||Watch out for policies with termination fees. This can range from around $40 to $100 and will be specified in your contract. No-lock-in contracts are a viable alternative if you don't want cancellation fees.|
|Payment||If you're not sure you will be able to pay bills on time with one form of payment, go for a flexible plan. If you want to save, you can often get a discount for paying with a credit card.|
|Digital energy tools||You can measure your energy consumption with a range of apps and online tools. Knowing exactly what and where your energy use comes from could help you find a better deal in the future.|
Consider adding in definitions of "standing offer", "reference price", and "default market offer (DMO)" instead of leaving in a separate section. Also consider cutting or condensing entries like tariff types and termination fees (almost no energy plans have fixed contracts with exit fees).
Your choice of retail provider can make a noticeable difference to the size of your energy bill. Once you've compared electricity and gas plans and chosen a new provider, it's relatively easy to switch. It's simply a matter of applying with the new provider and cancelling your existing plan. Your new provider should generally be able to supply your energy by the next day.
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